Cameroon: Advocate Decries Systemic Neglect of Persons Living with Disability, Condemns absence of Inclusive Accommodation
Persons living with disabilities have been decrying the systemic neglect they are experiencing from society. Most public infrastructures lack accessibility for persons with disabilities.
It was on this premise that an advocate for persons with disabilities, Njego Clarence Ngala has been challenging authorities both in schools and offices to ensure that infrastructures are fitted with inclusive access.
Mr. Njego, a field worker with the Socio-Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, SEEPD, a programme under the CBC Health Services, says any development initiative that does not take into consideration persons living with disabilities is not inclusive-oriented development. He contends that persons with disabilities are part of the society and cannot be left out when it has to do with fostering the development of communities.
In a chat with Timescape, shortly after receiving back to school materials from the Bamenda II Council, Mr. Njego said with the SEEPD Programme, inclusiveness and education are topmost priorities and must be taken into consideration seriously by all education stakeholders.
“The SEEPD Programme is now in a phase where they strengthen existing systems in the community that foster inclusive development so much so that they should not relent their efforts in the developmental activities because any development that keeps persons with disabilities away from it is not development at all,” he said.
According to Mr. Njego, persons with disabilities that would benefit from the package have been going to school but the only hindrance, most of them have been facing is that the schools or educational system lack inclusiveness.
The SEEPD field worker appealed to both government and proprietors of private schools to always take into consideration persons with disabilities each time they are either constructing a school or recruiting teachers. According to him, they should always make available the necessary facilities for persons with disabilities.
“We had about three of them with hearing impairment, but the problem now is that there is no school that has sign language interpreters. With such a big omission how will these children study?” Mr. Njego questioned, adding that “So, that is the main challenge that persons with disabilities are facing. If we have schools that have inclusive teachers, braille teachers, sign language interpreters and the environment is accessible, I think persons with disabilities will not have been left out in the educational sector", he concluded.